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The popular Chinese label (leftover women), regularly perpetuated in state-controlled media and on internet message boards, refers to women who are smart, successful and moneyed but still not married by the age of 28.That’s right: in China, if you're 30, female and single, you’re considered well and truly on the shelf.Those who didn’t give up work entirely were turning down promotions.’ The author and social commentator Zhang Lijia knows exactly what she thinks about the term . If a Chinese man is successful he will be looking for a woman who is young and beautiful, not someone who is well educated.’ She pauses before laughing heartily.'Chinese men think educated women aren’t as easy to control! Internet chatter about came to a head last March when a young woman called Long Si Yu and 15 of her friends posted an online music video admonishing men for not having their own house or car.'I always dread Chinese New Year,’ says Yang Ziyang, a 32-year-old talent agent earning in excess of one million RMB (£100,000) a year, 'because that’s when my extended family come over to the house and they all want to know why I’m not married yet.I tell them it’s because I have standards that I’m not willing to lower.’ Touching an expensive-looking bangle on her wrist, she goes on, 'I think my parents understand a bit more – they just want me to be happy – but my aunties always say things like, “Oh, do you remember that girl you went to school with? ” It's very frustrating.’ Wu Manling, 30 and a magazine editor, agrees.
I’ve met women who actually quit their jobs because they thought they’d find it easier to attract a husband, which is very frightening. There are many countries where men don’t like strong women,’ she points out, 'but Chinese men particularly so.'Because I’m an only child it’s harder, as they are relying a lot on me.’ Women born under China’s one-child policy, introduced in 1979, face enormous pressures to succeed academically from parents whose own aspirations were thwarted under the Mao regime.Meanwhile, their grandparents – many of whom can still remember mass famine – are piling on the expectations, too.We have helped thousands of people meet women and men alike, and launched thousands of happy and lasting relationships. Join Telegraph Dating now and let us help you find that special someone.China’s 'leftover women’ are considered on the shelf if they're still single at 28 In case you hadn’t noticed, Chinese women have become quite a force to be reckoned with in recent years.